By Scott Johnson, The Sports Xchange
SEATTLE — The Seattle bats finally came alive in Saturday night’s seventh inning, when the Mariners broke through for the elusive clutch hit and just kept delivering them.
The Mariners used a seven-run seventh inning to turn a tie into a blowout pulling away for an 8-2 win over the Texas Rangers.
“We know we’ve got some bats in the lineup, and we know we’re going to eventually get it done,” left fielder Taylor Motter said after Seattle ended an 0-for-18 slump with runners in scoring position this series by breaking the game open in the seventh.
Two-out, two-run singles from Danny Valencia and Ben Gamel highlighted an inning that saw Seattle get five hits while sending 11 batters to the plate to turn a 1-1 tie into an 8-1 lead. Gamel had two hits, two RBIs and a run in the inning.
Texas starter Martin Perez, who pitched six solid innings to open the game, ended up taking the loss after allowing two base runners to open the inning. Perez (1-5) allowed two earned runs and eight hits in six innings.
“It just got all sideways there with two outs in the seventh,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said.
Reliever James Pazos (1-1) picked up the win for Seattle (14-17).
Guillermo Heredia drove in the go-ahead run in a painful way when he took a bases-loaded pitch from Texas reliever Keone Kela to the left triceps. That brought in Gamel from third base for a 2-1 lead in the seventh.
Robinson Cano added a sacrifice fly for a 3-1 advantage, then Valencia delivered the big blow with a two-out, two-run single to put Seattle ahead 5-1. Motter followed with an RBI double to cap the seven-run seventh.
Seattle starter Chase De Jong, who was making his second career start, turned in a solid performance. He allowed one run and four hits in six innings but did not factor into the decision.
“Things went really well today,” De Jong said. “Things seemed to go the right way.”
Texas (13-18) had just seven hits and couldn’t capitalize on an overworked Seattle bullpen that had sent seven relievers to the mound in a 13-inning game Friday.
“It was a situation where we faced a guy we hadn’t seen much of in De Jong and he did a nice job tonight,” Banister said. “Not much in the consistency of our at-bats tonight.”
Leadoff hitter Delino DeShields had two of the Rangers’ seven hits and rookie Joey Gallo provided the only run of the first eight innings with a second-inning homer.
Veteran Mike Napoli added a two-out, solo homer in the ninth, his fifth home run of the season.
Seattle shortstop Jean Segura had three hits, and Heredia added two singles and the RBI. He was able to stay in the game after getting hit by the pitch and eventually came around to score in the seven-run seventh.
Gamel went 2-for-4 while doing all of his damage in the seventh, with two hits, two RBIs and a run.
“It was good to see,” Motter said. “We have a motto: Do whatever it takes. That’s what we did tonight.”
Gallo’s 10th home run of the season tied the score 1-1 in the top of the second inning. Gallo hit a 2-2 pitch from De Jong 428 feet into the left-field seats for his third homer in five games.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead on a Nelson Cruz RBI groundout. It was his 28th RBI of the season.